Summary: How much are you worth to God?
What is Your Worth?
If you were sold on an auction block, such as were slaves in early America, what would you bring on the open market? What would you be worth to others? What would society think you were worth? What do you think you are worth?
One of the great turmoils in professional sports is the matter of free agency. A man comes into his sport relatively cheap – makes his mark – and now wants to be paid a higher price negotiate a different contract. The owners of the team would say, “no, you’re not a free agent. You’re under obligation to this team, this organization.”
In Corinth, the Christians thought of themselves as free agents. This is not an average city – intellectually, it’s far more advanced materially, it’s wealthy, prosperous but spiritually – it’s bankrupt. Here there are a few believers arguing that they are free agents to live as they choose – after all wasn’t it Paul who said, “We are no longer under the law.” We’re not under restriction? We’re not under rules and regulations – we’re under grace – all that have received Christ?
Now Paul writes to his church in Corinth – a most unlikely church – and he tries to deal with the problems of that church. Now then, he discusses morality and immorality.
“Don’t you realize”, he asks, “that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t you realize that fornicators, that idolaters, that adulterers, that swindlers, that the covetous, that perverts, that homosexuals, that revilers, that addicts . . . will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
And then this amazing statement: “But such were some of you.” And then he spells out what it means to belong to Christ. Do you realize that every human being ultimately belongs to Satan or to Christ? Yet every human being is inclined to think of himself as a free agent – a person who can do what he wants to do when he feels like doing it.
Your line of reasoning is that food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food – and therefore you are not bound by dietary regulations, because the Lord will do away with both. . . To which Paul says, “Not so, even unto grace.”
How do we get this idea that we’re not under the law, therefore free to do as we please? Because everyone would like to live like Hell and go to Heaven. That is the secret desire at some point in every ones life – to live like Hell and to go to Heaven – to confess Christ but to live Satan – to confess righteousness but to live unrighteous.
“I want you to get something straight,” Paul says, “all things are lawful to me – but all things are not advisable, they’re not profitable – unless they are consistent with Christ owning me – because I am not my own man. “I did tell you that you weren’t under the law. I did tell you that you weren’t under grace. But I never told you that under grace you can live inconsistently with who you are . . . and to whom you belong.”
Most of us get down on ourselves from time to time. Some of us have twisted bodies – and will have them as long as we live on earth. Some of us have health problems that we will never rid on earth. And some of us are just wasting away a little at a time.
But I’d like to ask you in all honesty – if you were on the open market, Up for sale . . . what price would you bring?
No matter what you may pretend to others – you say in the privacy of your own heart – I’m not much. I know of Christ and his love but I haven’t lived him. I’ve claimed to be moral; secretly I’ve been immoral. “I’ve claimed to tell the truth. . . but I’ve shaded it a number of times. “I’m Not Much.” There is One bidder – and Jesus says, “My death, and your freedom” – and that person is bought. . . And that person is not there own.
Just as happened to the other believers in Corinth – that man is washed. He is sanctified – set aside for God’s purposes . . . and he is found not guilty – which is what justified means.
You’re an alcoholic. You’ve kidded yourself for years: “I could get sober if I wanted to. I went 30 days without a drink.” Nearly every alcoholic can go 30 days without a drink and not dry out – you know that. “Well, I kid myself that I could quit anytime I wanted,” you say, “but I’ve never wanted to.”